On the application form you get asked if you've previously worked at:

  • Armed Forces (including National Service)
  • Government (Central or Local)
  • Judiciary
  • Media
  • Public or Civil Administration
  • Security (including police and private security companies)

Now, I'm working in a commercial production company. We produce video commercials for TV and online. Technically, a commercial is a form of media, but I presume they want to know whether I have access to means of media distribution (which I don't)

I am afraid to give a wrong reply and be accused of withholding information, even though I state my current workplace right under this question (my place of work is called "Pacific Film")

  • My interpretation of 'media company' is 'news media company' - fwiw...
    – brhans
    May 2, 2017 at 13:58
  • Use your judgment. There is no all encompassing answer. May 2, 2017 at 15:50
  • 5
    Is there a problem with answering 'yes' and providing the details?
    – Gayot Fow
    May 2, 2017 at 17:21
  • @GayotFow Not really - I just don't want to appear more suspicious than necessary, but otherwise - no problem
    – Mary Dali
    May 3, 2017 at 15:01
  • @brhans I had the same perception
    – Mary Dali
    May 3, 2017 at 15:02

1 Answer 1


There's a question on the UK entry clearance application about prior employment. Here's a screen shot...

enter image description here

You work for a company that produces video commercials. This falls under the general definition of a 'content provider' and would be considered a 'media organisation'.

You are worried that disclosing this might make your application 'suspicious'.

I just don't want to appear more suspicious than necessary

In these types of questions they are trying to find out if you are engaged in an organisation that operates counter to the public welfare. The controlling technical reference is Paragraph 320 (19)...

The immigration officer deems the exclusion of the person from the United Kingdom to be conducive to the public good. For example, because the person’s conduct (including convictions which do not fall within paragraph 320(2)), character, associations, or other reasons, make it undesirable to grant them leave to enter.

For example, some media organisations have very close links with terrorist groups while others advocate the violent overthrow of a government. If your organisation is not described by this Paragraph, then there's nothing to worry about.

A best practices approach is to click the box and then provide the name of the organisation and the dates you worked there. They will look to see if the organisation is on their list of organisations that endanger the public welfare and if not, then they will move on to look at your other responses. There's nothing at all to worry about based on what you wrote.

Attempting to hide something, on the other hand, especially something that impacts Paragraph 320 can have grave consequences and there's no statute of limitations. For example, you are on the spouse track which means you'll generally qualify for a British passport after five years. If they ever find out that you failed to disclose something, they can (and do) revoke your passport. I took a course that covered nationality deprivation a few years back and learned that the only recourse is a full judicial review.

Technically, a commercial is a form of media, but I presume they want to know whether I have access to means of media distribution (which I don't)

Yes, media includes distribution and also providing content.

I am aware that spouse visa applicants are particularly prone to disproportionate anxiety during the application stage. Nonetheless, this site endorses the strategy of transparency and disclosure.

Important note: the OP is on a settlement track which is outside of our mandate (we're a travel site). However, the screen shot above also appears in all entry clearance applications, including Standard Visitor Visa applications. So the question is topical here from that angle. Specific questions about spouse visas that are not generic to all entry clearance applications should be posted in Expats http://expatriates.stackexchange.com/questions

  • Dear Gayot Fow, thank you very much for the most thorough and caring reply to a question I ever got from anyone! It fills me with assurance. I've put my company on the application.
    – Mary Dali
    May 17, 2017 at 10:31
  • @MaryDali all part of the service, take care for that 'post-submission anxiety'. If it's helpful you can also join and link this answer at talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?board=17.0 as many of those have 'post-submission anxiety' also. see travel.stackexchange.com/questions/71596/… for my answer there which might also help
    – Gayot Fow
    May 17, 2017 at 11:52

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